The Fairy Shilling
Category: FAIRY MOTHERS AND HUMAN MIDWIVES.
The Rev. Owen Jones, Pentrevoelas, whom I have already mentioned as
having supplied me with the Folk-lore of his parish, kindly gave me the
There was a clean, tidy, hardworking woman, who was most particular about
keeping her house in order. She had a place for everything, and kept
everything in its place.
Every night, before retiring to rest, she was in the habit of brushing up
the ashes around the fire place, and putting a few fresh peat on the fire
to keep it in all night, and she was careful to sweep the floor before
going to bed. It was a sight worth seeing to see her clean cottage. One
night the Fairies, in their rambles, came that way and entered her house.
It was just such a place as they liked. They were delighted with the
warm fire, the clean floor and hearth, and they stayed there all night
and enjoyed themselves greatly. In the morning, on leaving, they left a
bright new shilling on the hearthstone for the woman. Night after night,
they spent in this woman's cottage, and every morning she picked up a new
shilling. This went on for so long a time that the woman's worldly
condition was much improved. This her neighbours with envy and surprise
perceived, and great was their talk about her. At last it was noticed
that she always paid for the things she bought with new shilling pieces,
and the neighbours could not make out where she got all these bright
shillings from. They were determined, if possible, to ascertain, and one
of their number was deputed to take upon her the work of obtaining from
the woman the history of these new shillings. She found no difficulty
whatever in doing so, for the woman, in her simplicity, informed her
gossip that every morning the coin was found on the hearthstone. Next
morning the woman, as usual, expected to find a shilling, but never
afterwards did she discover one, and the Fairies came no more to her
house, for they were offended with her for divulging the secret.
This tale is exactly like many others that may be heard related by old
people, in many a secluded abode, to their grandchildren.
A lesson constantly inculcated by Fairy tales is this--Embrace
opportunities as they occur, or they will be lost for ever. The
following stories have reference to this belief.
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